Augusta State University: Dump Christian beliefs on homosexuality, or else

Demands student get re-educated, attend 'pride' eventPosted: December 06, 2010 10:23 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn © 2010 WorldNetDaily

Augusta State University graduate student Jen Keeton alleges school officials demand she be re-educated in morality, giving her the choice of giving up her Christian beliefs on homosexuality or being expelled from the school's counseling program.

But now, after months of battling the university in court, a pair of free-speech organizations have joined her in the fight.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the National Association of Scholars have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, asserting it a violation of the First Amendment for the Georgia university's officials to require Keeton's beliefs be "influenced" by remedial sensitivity training or face expulsion.

According to a complaint filed against the school earlier this year, school officials demanded Keeton, 24, go through a "remediation" program after she asserted homosexuality is a behavioral choice, not a "state of being" as a professor said.

Specifically, the remediation program was to include "sensitivity training" on homosexual issues, additional outside study on literature promoting homosexuality and the plan that she attend a "gay pride parade" and report on it.

Where has higher education in America gone? Find out in "Freefall of the American University"

"Besides violating Keeton's own First Amendment rights," writes University of California Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh in the brief, "the university's retaliation also sent a powerful message to other students: If you express views like Keeton's, prepare to suffer the same consequences – prepare to incur many hours of extra obligations, and to put yourself at risk of expulsion."

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